Wednesday, April 14, 2004
The East Coast Greenway Alliance is ten years old and doing very well thanks to the effort of countless volunteers and a singular vision to create a contiguous pedestrian nature trail from Maine to Key West. With twenty percent of the trail complete and another 50 percent of the right of way secured and ready to begin construction the Greenway Trail is about to become a reality.
The trail is unlike most nature trails because it was planned to actually transect some of the most urban centric topography in the United States, the densely populated eastern seaboard. Using existing Federal park lands, city parks and state coast ways the trail will pass through cities like Boston, New York, Philadelphia and Baltimore. The trail makes use of abandoned rail lines, as well as existing nature paths and even city parks to provide a continuous people path from which to explore the entire range of the US east coast.
Planners have sought to use trails where people have walked for generations and knit them together along with side routes to existing trails and form a contiguous pedestrian way very much in the tradition of ancient highways and trade routes that have existed throughout history, and it is an idea whose time has come again.
One side route included in the Green Way Alliance is the Pinellas Trail that circumnavigates the County by the same name on the Florida Sun Coast. Our publication is located alongside a segment of the Pinellas Trail and sometimes it is hard to keep a deadline as we pause to regard the cyclists and in-liners who frequently off trail along our little street in Ozona.
Pinellas Trail, Ozona, Florida Source: GCB Press, 2004
The East Coast Greenway Trail will officially open this fall with the first end-to-end journey by twelve volunteer cyclists who will ride from Maine to Key West. The full 2600-mile trip will take roughly 3 months from September 12th to November 3rd when they arrive in Key West. Each volunteer must raise a pledge amount of $10,000 and be willing to participate in media events along the way. There are still openings on the team of riders, if you’re interested go to the ECGA website for more information. There you will find interactive maps, a history of the project, contact information and most importantly you can learn how to help by becoming a part of this Green Alliance.